The Madras High Court has set aside a ‘Final Warrant Notice’ issued to a resident over the levy of property tax after directing the jurisdictional Regional Deputy Commissioner (RDC), Greater Chennai Corporation, to consider the objections of the resident and pass an assessment order after giving an opportunity of personal hearing to the resident or his authorised representative.
The petitioner had contended that the Corporation had issued a notice on October 11, proposing enhancement of the half yearly property tax from the existing Rs 7,603 to Rs 38,000 with effect from April 1, 2018. Pursuant to the notice, the petitioner sent detailed objections to the RDC on November 29.
But not withstanding this, the ‘final warrant notice’ was issued on March 3, which meant that the Corporation was attempting to collect the property tax at the proposed enhanced rate without considering the objections and passing final assessment order, the petitioner said.
However, Justice Sundar pointed out that the final assessment order was also subject to statutory appeal as provided under the relevant rules and cited the order of a single judge who had held that notices of such nature were provisional notices and hence objections from assesses have to be necessarily considered.
Moreover, the question of appeal would arise only after the final assessment was made.
“In the light of the order that has been passed now, there shall be an order of status quo subject to the petitioner paying the present half-yearly tax of Rs 7,063 per half year without any delay or default. This order of status quo shall continue until filing of the objections and passing of assessment order by the jurisdictional RDC,” Justice Sundar held.
He also noted that if the order was adverse to the petitioner, the order of RDC shall be kept in abeyance for a fortnight to enable the petitioner to pursue the statutory remedy available.